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Industrial Revolution paper
During the period from the early 18th century to the mid 19th century people experienced many changes that had an impact on their lives such as technical advance, development of transport, trade, better organization of output or new financial structures. All these achievements happened spontaneously and were not planned. Economy was in process of rapid change and it gave many opportunities for people to gain wealth as well as social advancement. Almost every aspect of people’s lives was influenced in some way. This essay would like to argue that there were many innovations during this era; however, the biggest changes that people went ...view middle of the document...
Workers had to obtain new skills, attitudes and work discipline. No wonder that many workers disagreed and resisted either actively or passively. Those who were willing to adapt new system were forced to leave their domestic workshop because they would have had a little chance to compete against new factories. It was a change for entrepreneurs as well. They worked out the problems related to management, financing or accounting. If managers wanted to be successful they had to change the organization of work and control their employees. Before, work morale or fixed working hours were not common. Workers used to drink 3 days a week.Work was often inefficient, protracted and changes were necessary. Thanks to English pottery master Josiah Wedgewood, the most important innovations occurred during this era in the labour market. It was subdivision of tasks, training of new workers and work discipline.
Let’s look at subdivision of work first. One worker no longer made the whole product by himself. Work was simplified to a single process and became a dull routine. Same mechanical process was incessantly repeated over and over again. Labour was prolonged and exhausting even though machines did most of the hard work. At the end, the product was made faster, quality of work was quite often better and it reduced the cost of production. Working conditions had changed as well. Employees were paid for hours spent in the work, not by the piece of product as it was before. Punctuality and intensity of work became crucial. Period of work was determined by a manager not by workers themselves and employees had regular working days. The control over workers was necessary to make this system successful. In order to make these rulers efficient, Wedgewood evolved a three-part disciplinary system comprising of conduct of work and the operation of the plant, a system of fines and penalties for infringements, and a supervisory system of overseers and inspectors.(Mathias & Davis 1990,p.163). This system was very successful because entrepreneurs could control the overall production and make necessary changes. The result was an increase output, productivity of work and income.
The Industrial Revolution also brought a totally new innovation –trade. Although the trade was common in prehistoric times when people used to exchange their products with each other before the...